News & Politics

McCabe Gave Mueller a Secret Memo that Could Contain Crucial Information About Trump Firing Comey: Report

The memo details his conversation with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Photo Credit: New York Times YouTube Screenshot

Former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe gave special counsel Robert Mueller a memo documenting potentially critical conversations he had in the wake of the former FBI Director James Comey's firing, according to a new report from the New York Times.

The memo reportedly contains a record of McCabe's conversation with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after President Donald Trump fired Comey. After the firing, the White House released a letter from Rosenstein detailing what he viewed was Comey's mishandling of the Hillary Clinton email case, which the deputy attorney general believes was unfair to the former secretary of state. Rosenstein has since said that he did not intend his letter to be used to justify Comey's firing.

According to the report, McCabe said that Rosenstein told him that the president asked that he mention Russia in the letter. McCabe reportedly thought this suggested that Comey's termination may be tied to the Russia investigation, which raises questions of whether the president's decision constitutes obstruction of justice.

Rosenstein did not end up mentioning anything about Russia or the investigation in his letter. One source told the Times that Trump only wanted Rosenstein to mention the fact that the president himself was not a target of the investigation. 

The Times notes that this development raises questions about how Rosenstein can legitimately continue to oversee the Russia investigation, given that his conduct may play a role in the probe. Rosenstein has previously said that he has discussed any potential conflicts with Mueller and that he will recuse himself should it become necessary. 

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.